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Belichick: ‘If the moon were made of Swiss cheese….’

11.01.10 at 8:00 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Patriots coach Bill Belichick was noncommittal when it came to discussing the Randy Moss situation in his Monday afternoon press conference. When asked if Minnesota had called an asked for its third-round pick back ‘€” the Vikings shipped a third-rounder to the Patriots in exchange for Moss on Oct. 6 ‘€” Belichick wasn’t biting.

“You know I can’€™t comment on the status of any of the other players in the league or any other transactions or anything like that,” Belichick said. “You can’€™t bait me into it; I can’€™t comment on anybody else’€™s teams or players or transactions.”

When asked about a hypothetical as to whether or not the Patriots might put in a claim for their former receiver, Belichick smiled.

“If the moon were made of Swiss cheese…” he responded.

Here’s the rest of Belichick’s Q&A with the media today at Gillette Stadium:

BB: How are we doing today? Good win yesterday. It was certainly a lot better in the second half than it was in the first, but, you know, [the Minnesota Vikings] are a good football team. They have a lot of talented players. They gave us some problems. We gave them a few, and in the end, we were just able to make a few more plays, certainly in the red area, third-down conversions. I mean, that last drive, offensively, was a big drive for us. We had a lot of guys step up and play well; it is hard to single anybody out when you have a game like that. There were a lot of people that contributed to it, so that was good. It is time to turn a page and move onto Cleveland. After watching them against New Orleans, it is a pretty formidable group they’€™ve got, so we have a lot of work to do. I know they got a jump on us in terms of preparation with their bye week, so we have a lot of catching up to do.
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Bill Belichick on Big Show: Respect between Randy Moss, Patriots is ‘mutual’

11.01.10 at 7:20 pm ET
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In his weekly appearance on The Big Show, Patriots coach Bill Belichick offered very little on the subject of the Vikings’ waiving of former Patriot Randy Moss, but did re-iterate that both Moss and the Patriots have plenty of respect for one another.

“I can’t comment on any other teams’ transactions or players,” Belichick said multiple times during the interview. Vikings coach Brad Childress told players on Monday morning that the team had decided to move on from the receiver, who used his post-game press conference after Sunday’s game to compliment the Patriots and Belichick.

The Patriots traded Moss, who had 50 touchdown receptions in his time in New England, to the Vikings four games into the season. Belichick said that there was no bad blood as two saw one another as opponents on Sunday.

“I talked to Randy after the game as well,” Belichick said. “Look, Randy and I had a long conversation a few weeks ago. I have a lot of respect for him and appreciate the things that he did for us. He said the same to me. The feeling’s mutual.”

Here is transcript. Click here to listen to the interview.
What are your thoughts on the Vikings deciding to waive Randy Moss?

I can’t comment on any other teams’ transactions or players

Would you consider bringing Moss back if the opportunity presented itself?

Glenn, you know I can’t [comment]. You can bait the hook with whatever you want to put on it. I can’t talk about another team’s transactions or their players or anything like that. I can’t do that.

If a player is put on waivers and claimed, the new team must pay his contract, correct?

The contract is with the player, yes. Whatever the terms are. They vary, but whatever the terms of that particular contract are.

And if nobody claims him?

If a player’s not claimed, he’s just like any other player that’s not in the league. He’s a free agent. He can do whatever he wants to do.

He can negotiate with any number of teams?


And would the new money he gets from the new team be subtracted from what the first team is responsible for?

There are a lot of rules that govern contracts. Those rules are pertinent to the player — how many years he’s been in the league, and so forth. It’s not the same for every player. It would depend on the number of accrued seasons that he’s had in the league and so forth. Each situation is a little bit different depending on what category the player fell into.

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Poll: Should the Patriots bring back Randy Moss?

11.01.10 at 3:33 pm ET
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If the Patriots have the opportunity, should they bring back Randy Moss, who was waived by the Vikings on Monday?

  • Yes (80%, 1,383 Votes)
  • No (20%, 346 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,729

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Report: Vikings waive Randy Moss

11.01.10 at 3:02 pm ET
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The Vikings have decided to waive wide receiver Randy Moss, according to Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network.

The news comes a day after the Patriots beat Minnesota, 28-18, where Moss finished with one catch for eight yards. After the contest, the former New England receiver delivered a memorable postgame monologue where he spoke nostalgically of his time with the Patriots and called Patriots coach Bill Belichick “the best coach in football history.”

‘€œThis is no disrespect to the Minnesota Vikings and their organization ‘€” the captains, Wilfork, Tommy Boy, Kevin Faulk, I miss them guys. I miss the team,’€ Moss said. ‘€œI know what they’re doing, success they had on the field with the running game. I kind of know what type of feeling is in their locker room and I want to be able to tell they guys that I miss the hell out of them, every last helmet in that locker room.’€

Moss was dealt to Minnesota from the Patriots for a third-round pick on Oct. 6.

Asked to comment on the Vikings move, Belichick was predictably mum on Monday.

“You can’t bait me into [talking about that],” Belichick said. “I can’t comment on anybody else’s players or transactions.”

The reaction in the locker room was one of surprise. Quarterback Tom Brady appeared taken aback when he was informed, but he quickly recovered and said, “No comment from me today, guys.” Fellow wide receiver Wes Welker said he was also shocked when he heard the news.

“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Randy is obviously a great player,” Welker said. “It’€™s a tough day if it is true. Who knows? I find that hard to believe.’€

‘€œThat’€™s news to me. I really ‘€¦ I’€™m surprised as you are,” said cornerback Kyle Arrington, who spent most of his afternoon on Sunday shadowing Moss. “That’€™s something between Randy and Minnesota. I really couldn’€™t comment on it.”

One of the more surreal aspects to this whole story broke late Monday afternoon, when Lombardi and Jay Glazer of both reported that Minnesota coach Brad Childress told his team he was going to release Moss in a morning meeting the receiver wasn’€™t present for. (According to Lombardi, Moss did not go back with the team to Minnesota on Sunday night, staying in New England.) And as of late Monday afternoon, Moss hadn’€™t had a sitdown with Childress yet to confirm the move.

Moss had 50 touchdown receptions in his Patriots career, 23 of which came in his record-setting debut season in 2007. In four games with the Vikings, his second stint in Minnesota, he had 13 catches and two touchdowns.

Once the Vikings waive Moss, teams will have 24 hours to claim the receiver. The Patriots, who at 6-1 have the best record in the NFL, will have the last chance to claim him.

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Brandon Meriweather on D&H: Randy Moss ‘in a class of his own’

11.01.10 at 1:01 pm ET
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Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather joined the Dale & Holley show from Gillette Stadium during WEEI’s Patriots Monday and talked about Sunday’s 28-28 victory over the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

“I think we’re jelling,” Meriweather said of the defense. “I think we’re making strides to be better. And I think we’re taking coaching. We don’t have any selfish guys on the defense. We don’t have any guys who are all about themselves. Everybody on the defense is taking strides to help each other out, and I think it’s starting to show. I don’t think we’re where we want to be yet, but I think everybody’s buying into the system.”

Meriweather said former teammate Randy Moss “was like my big brother,” and he insisted Moss is still one of the top receivers in the NFL. “As in judging the ball, it’s only one person out there like it, and that’s Larry Fitzgerald. As in hands, it’s only one person out there like it, and that’s Larry Fitzgerald. As in speed, when he runs, there’s nobody like it. And his size is what makes it worse. When you put those things together, you’ve got a great receiver.”

Added Meriweather: “Moss is in a class of his own. I think if you asked any of [the league's other elite receivers], they will tell you Moss is in a class of his own. He’s Moss. He’s like no other. They would tell you that.”

Asked about criticism of Moss for his declining production, Meriweather said: “The thing with Moss is, the reason you see that is because he has two or three people on him every play. We were in Cover 3, and I still shaded to him, knowing that the corner is going bail and be over the top and play the 9 route, that I don’t have to be over there, I still lean toward him. No matter what coverage you’re in, you have to give him his respect. And that’s what people don’t understand.”

Meriweather committed an intentional interference penalty on Moss in the second quarter after the receiver double-faked him and broke down the field for what likely would have been an easy touchdown. “He double-moved me,” Meriweather explained. “He set up for the hitch, and I thought they were going to just throw it quick to him, which I would have done, and gave him a one-on-one with a safety. I like me, just to clear that up. Moss, if you’re listening, if you would have caught that hitch, me and you, one-on-one, I like me. I’m going to make that tackle 99 percent of the time. Better yet, 100 percent. If you’re listening.”

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Vince Wilfork on D&H: Goal-line stand a ‘great opportunity’ for defense

11.01.10 at 12:36 pm ET
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Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork stopped by to visit with Dale & Holley at Gillette Stadium on Monday morning as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday, one day after a 28-18 victory over the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Wilfork was emotional after the Patriots stuffed the Vikings on fourth-and-goal just before the end of the first half. “All year we say we want to play well in the red area, goal line we want to be good, and short yardage we want to be good,” Wilfork said. “So, a great opportunity for us right there to step up. We had one earlier, a third-and-goal, and I still don’t think he scored, but it is what it is. So, we had another chance to come back and make a stop, especially on fourth down. You know what? The guys did a real good job on that play, just basically swarming to the ball, getting to the ball ‘€” like I said, we knew [Adrian Peterson] was going to get it ‘€” and just walked away. They didn’t come up with any points. We walked in to halftime feeling pretty good about that defensive stand.

“It’s just something we work on,” Wilfork added. “Through training camp, that was a point of emphasis. Even now, short yardage, red area, it’s always a point of emphasis for us. We were kind of confident going in and being down there, I don’t care how close they were to the goal line. We were pretty confident as a unit, to be down there. We came up with the big stop. It’s always exciting, when you put so much time into something and you succeed. And that was the case yesterday.”

Wilfork had high praise for cornerback Devin McCourty, who had an interception Sunday. Said Wilfork: “He’s a student of the game, man. I tell you what, that guy, the way he prepares and the way he practices ‘€” he prepares in practice like he’s been in this game a long time. Sometimes it’s hard to see he’s only a rookie. But he is. But at the same time, it’s like, you see him at work, you see him at practice doing his thing, you see him after practice in the film room ‘€” all these guys, not just Devin. They take it upon themselves to be the best they can be, because they know they have a lot of people counting on them.

“They hear, trust me, all of us hear how crappy we are, or how crappy we were going to be,” Wilfork continued. “We all hear that through the grapevine. We all hear that. I think guys just take it upon themselves not to let each other down out there. And it’s been working. And it’s going to continue to work, because we’re going to keep our head down, we’re just going to be going one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and just keep grinding it out. Because it’s a long season. The schedule’s going to get harder. It’s going to get tougher. Opponents are going to get tougher. Just keep grinding it out, man. At the end of the day we want to look back when it’s all over and see what we have accomplished. But right now we don’t have time to sit back and see what we have accomplished ‘€” 6-1 won’t get us anywhere. right now. That’s not our goal, 6-1. Our goal is to be a lot further.”

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Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C

11.01.10 at 12:21 pm ET
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Following an impressive 28-18 win against the Vikings that brought the Patriots to a league best 6-1 record, Tom Brady was in good spirits during his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show.

Following is a transcript of the interview, in which Brady discusses what makes Bill Belichick such a good coach, if he misses Randy Moss, Brett Favre‘s chinstrap, Brady’s next haircut, and more. To listen, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Great job stealing signals, you guys are good at that. That’s what I heard.

I know, I know. It’s good to go out there and get a tough win at home. I said after the game, they’re a very talented team. They had 10 Pro Bowlers last year and it’s basically the same team. It was a battle, it went four quarters. We just made a few more plays than they did.

You’re the only 6-1 team in the NFL. Are you the best team?

Well, I think we’ve won in different ways. I think that’s what I’m probably happy about. We’ve been down in the fourth quarter, we’ve protected leads, we won on the road, we won on a Monday night game in Miami, which has always been tough to do. We’re such a long way from where we need to be, though. I will say that. I don’t think anybody on our team goes in there and thinks we’ve got all the answers.

There’s certainly things we need to improve on and get better at. Our offensive performance in the first half again wasn’t very good. We played much better in the second half. We’ve got plenty of football left and plenty of ways to get better as a team.

What is the benefit to your team when vanilla Bill [Belichick] lets nothing distract you from the matter at hand, preparation and execution on Sunday?

They have a heck of a team. They were in the NFC championship game last  year with one play away from being in the Super Bowl. So, I wouldn’t say they don’t know how to do it or they don’t know how to win. We just do things differently.

Every coach has his own style. Our coach, we know his style. You guys know his style. How he is with the media is, to a certain degree, the way he is with the players. He’s never too up, he’s never too down. He never really lets anything get in the way of what we’re trying to accomplish. And there’s a lot to be said for that.

I like to think we have a pretty tough, smart team, and that’s what he’s been trying to build. I think a lot of guys have taken his coaching, and I think that’s been a very fun part to this season for the players. What he comes in and says is usually the way it plays out in the game. There’s no better coaching a player can have than a coach who goes in there on Wednesday and tells you the way the game’s going to go, and that’s how it happens on Sunday.

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